If you haven’t seen last night’s Lost, you probably don’t want to read this. Because I am a kind and benevolent queen, here is one of those cut things, where you have to click to read, so I don’t spoil it for you.
Aren’t I gracious?
Okay, are you there? Did you clicky? Good.
Oh. My. God.
I will readily grant to you that not a whole ton of mystery-solving happened last night. We didn’t get many clues to the island’s rules. We were thrown the bone of Michael’s presence on the boat (called a few weeks ago by Marty), but really, not much else that advances the plot.
But oh, the storytelling.
Oh, oh, oh.
I love Sun and Jin. They’re complex characters who have made some good decisions and made some bad decisions, and come through it all okay. Both of them have – before the crash and in the days after – fallen, but both have also been redeemed. So, to say that last night’s “Ji Yeon” tore my heart out is an understatement.
In the island-timeline, Sun decides to leave Jack’s camp and go to Locke’s because she doesn’t trust Juliet. (Oh, Sun, you are infinitely smarter than Jack. This is not sarcasm. I want to scream at Jack every time he goes along with what Juliet wants because he trusts her. How many lies and half-truths does she have to tell before Jack gets it? Rrrrrgh.) Because she’s a horrible person, Juliet rats Sun out, telling Jin about her affair so they’ll stay with Jack’s people.
It works. I can understand that it was about the only thing that could get those two back on the beach, but as I watched, I was wishing with all my might for Sun to knock Juliet on her ass. Now, had it been Kate instead of Sun, a full-on girlfight probably would have ensued, but I can live with Sun’s equivalent – a nice, resounding slap. GO SUN!
Being Lost, of course, while Sun and Jin are dealing with the aftermath in island-time, you have two more stories intertwined – Sun, giving birth, and Jin, trying to get to the hospital. You’re led to believe, of course, that Jin is making his way to Sun, to see their baby born at last. Of course you are. They’ve made it. Two of the Oceanic Six have gotten the hell off of the island and things are good for them. The last few minutes of the show will be Jin rushing into the hospital room with that big stuffed fucking panda and seeing his wife and child, exhausted but alive.
NO. No, of course not, and fuck you, J.J. Abrams. For kicking me in the teeth and breaking my heart and being so goddamned brilliant about it.
Jin’s story is not, like Sun’s a flash-forward. This is pre-crash Jin, racing to the hospital as an emissary for Paik Automotive, to give a big stuffed fucking panda to some ambassador – a gesture of goodwill from his boss. This is Jin the errand-boy, married only two months, still in love with Sun, but at the beginning of his fall – or maybe mid-fall, as I’m unsure of just when he began doing violent things for Sun’s father. But it’s not Jin-now. It’s Jin in his arc of descent, and the man Sun is crying out for as her baby comes is dead.
There was a tip-off. I caught it, but I was too involved in the episode to chase the moment of “Oh, hey…” As some asshat steals his taxi (and therefore big stuffed fucking panda #1), Jin chases after it a ways, yelling that he’ll kill the man if he catches him, kill him and rip his head off and… yeah. That made me tilt my head a bit. Has Jin-now regressed into angry-Jin, now that they’re home and off the island? Is this just a stressed-out father trying to get to his wife? It didn’t seem right. They were starting over. Look at how the other Oceanic survivors live – I’m guessing they all got some pretty nice settlements after the story broke. Jack and Hurley might have been well-off before their flights, but Kate’s living in a pretty swanky house, for a down-on-her-luck fugitive. So, it didn’t seem right that Jin had gone back to being a thug for Paik.
But I went with it, believing it had to be a flash-forward for him. It had to be okay. Then, of course, it’s not Sun at the hospital, it’s the ambassador. And he tells the nurse (who asks if he’ll have a baby soon himself) that he’s only been married for two months.
And for a moment, I thought, “Jin, you shit. Why did you leave Sun? You told her on the island that you never would.” But I knew. Even though I wanted to be angry at him, I knew there was no reason to be. Because it was Sun he was referring to. His wife of two months, while things were still good, before it all started going so wrong. This wasn’t Jin-now. This was Jin-then, time to stop denying it.
Then we’re back to Sun-now, and Hurley comes, and together they go visit Jin’s grave, and goddamnit, J. J. Abrams, I’m tearing up right along with Sun.
I suppose there’s a ray of hope in here, even still. If you look at Jin’s stone – the date of his death is 9/22/04, the date Oceanic 815 crashed. Maybe she misses him not because he’s dead, but because he’s still on the island, left behind with the others, in a place she can’t get back to. We won’t know for a good long while. That hope/suspicion most likely stems from my long education in fantasy novels, horror movies, and roleplaying games – never count a character as dead until you’ve seen the body, and even then, question whether you really saw what you thought you did.
This was, at the very least, the best episode so far this season. I might even go so far as to say it’s the best episode of the series as a whole.