Here is this week's recap from Erika Olson (aka "e") from LongLiveLocke.com .
I begin this write-up in St. Maarten, listening to the sound of waves and the rustling of palm trees from my hotel room’s balcony. (I have to rub it in—I’ll be back in cold temperatures soon enough, OK?)
I was very happy to have watched “Ji Yeon” with my friend Miss M and her sister, RK, because some of their comments during the show prevented me from becoming extremely confused. For example, Miss M just so happened to have been born in 1976, which was a “year of the dragon.” She explained that any given animal sign in the Chinese zodiac (which is also followed in Jin and Sun’s homeland of Korea) repeats only once every twelve years. That knowledge clued us in about mid-way through the episode (when the store owner mentioned that it was “the year of the dragon”) that Jin’s flashes must be taking place in either the year 2000 or the year 2012. We guessed incorrectly; until the very end of the episode, the three of us assumed that Jin’s scenes were in the year 2012 and that he was buying the panda for his second or perhaps even third child with Sun. We thought the big twist would be that it wasn’t the Island baby that was being born, but rather another one of their children… meaning that the scenes would have to be taking place significantly far into the future. Alas, at the end of “Ji Yeon” it became clear that while we saw a flash-forward for Sun, Jin’s scenes were flashbacks to the year 2000.
Because I know there is a lot of confusion about this episode, I just want to reiterate what was going on in the flash scenes so that we’re all on the same page, before I get into the meat of my post:
- Jin’s scenes took place in the year 2000, when he was newly married to Sun and working for her mob-boss-like father (Mr. Paik). He bought the panda for the grandson of the Ambassador to China, with whom Mr. Paik wanted to conduct business.
- Sun’s scenes were probably 5 or so months from the present time on the Island (based on Juliet’s claim that mothers will die on the Island in their 2nd trimester), so they were probably in mid-2005.
Now let’s get into it. I will tackle the freighter events first, then the stuff that went down on the Island, then the flashes, and will wrap up with a podcast debrief and a few other Lost-related extras. I even have a fan picture of Karl! Or, "Kaarrrrlll," as Benry might say.
'CAUSE I'M ALLLLLREADY GONE
The episode kicked off with Keamy warning Frank not to be late. Late to what? I assumed that the captain was going to hold some kind of debrief with the crew regarding what they were going to do about Sayid and Desmond, and Keamy was trying to ensure that Frank didn't lose track of time while deciding what new palm tree shirt to wear and made it to the meeting on time. Later, however, we found out that Frank had left with the helicopter to “run an errand,” so that’s probably what Keamy had been referring to—he wanted Frank to get going. I’m sure they just had Frank run out to the nearest Walgreens to pick up some Diet Cokes and Cheetos, don’t you think?
Seriously, though, where did Frank go? And was he lying to Sayid about the phone no longer working? I guess we’ll find out whether he made another trip back to the Island soon enough, but I’m not so sure that’s where he went, even though the doctor claimed that there was “nowhere else to land.” Yes, Jack, Kate, Aaron, Sun and Hurley still need to get rescued and the helicopter and freighter currently seem to be the most obvious means of escape, but I’ve always wondered whether the rest of The Six end up leaving the Island some other way. Since we know that Sayid ends up working for Ben in the future, maybe the others leave the Island via different means than did Sayid, and that’s what allows Ben to get to Sayid and strike some sort of deal with him. Especially now that we know that Ben also has Michael working for him on the freighter, and Sayid is now with Michael.
Or, Frank could in fact be headed to the Island to pick up the next round of Lostaways and/or some of his original team. Many people think that the Oceanic Six weren’t “chosen” but were simply the first group that left the Island, and that Frank said he would keep coming back until everyone who wanted to leave had been rescued, but then something happened that prevented him from doing so. Which still wouldn’t explain why people from both Locke and Jack’s groups make up The Six, or why Jin would allow himself to be separated from Sun after saying “Wherever Sun go, I go,” but it’s still a plausible theory. More theories about the Oceanic Six later in this post…
BUT WE’RE NEVER GONNA SURVIVE, UNLESS…
WE GET A LITTLE CRAZY
Before Frank took off, he paid a visit to Sayid and Desmond and brought them some canned lima beans. Lima beans are on my list of most hated foods, so I don’t blame the guys for being pretty offended. Some people wonder if Frank thinks that poisoned/tampered-with food on the freighter is what is making people go crazy, so that’s why he brought Sayid and Des a safer choice of sustenance. I think it’s clear that what’s affecting people’s sanity is the ship’s proximity to the Island, so we shouldn’t read into Frank’s choice of food for the captives too much. Since lima beans are so nasty, no one else on the ship was going to complain if the rest of the supply goes missing! That's why Frank took them.
The most important part of that scene didn’t have anything to do with food, though. It had to do with Regina, who was reading a book upside-down. What was the novel, you may wonder? It was Survivors of the Chancellor by Jules Verne, which is about peeps on a grounded ship—some of whom go nuts. How apropos.
Especially considering Regina’s next (and last) scene, where she jumps overboard after weighing herself down with heavy chains. Desmond and Sayid, who have been let out of their room by this point, are alarmed that no one else is trying to help poor Regina. However, they soon meet the captain, who explains that several members of the crew have developed “a heightened case of cabin fever.” After learning what happened to Minkowski, Brandon (the other guy who left the ship with Minkowski and died) and Regina, and then seeing the blood stain on the wall of Desmond and Sayid’s new room (which was obviously from someone shooting themselves Radzinsky-style in the head), I think it’s fair to proclaim that a good percentage of people on the freighter are stark raving mad. But the question is, why?
The captain said that he thought it was because of the proximity to the Island, but that he couldn’t change locations because someone had been tampering with the ship’s engines. But when Doctor Ray takes Des and Sayid to their new quarters and Sayid questions why Ray would say that the room is in the “quiet area” of the ship even though the ship isn’t moving, Ray’s response was, “Well, if you say so.” This has led people to wonder whether or not the ship is somehow moving… not physically—but through time—and it’s causing people to go insane.
You could tell that the writers were trying to make it clear that three days had passed both on and off the Island since the helicopter crew left. Sayid mentioned three days, and so did Sun. But that still doesn’t account for the “perception” of time moving differently while on the Island, or Daniel’s experiment with the clocks, or whatever it is that tripped Desmond’s time-traveling experience. So, as I said in my last write-up, there may be some sort of “time-warp moat” around the Island that would explain all of the above, in addition to being the cause of the freighter crew’s strife. Perhaps the ship is too close to this force field of sorts (I KNEW they’d get another force field into the show one way or another--hooray!), and it’s having an effect on certain people.
I don’t know how to explain why not everyone would be affected, though. For all we know, Regina and whoever committed suicide in the Roach Room might have both been time-traveling in their minds, and that’s what drove them mad. Then we could assume that those specific people had been exposed to radiation or electromagnetism, whereas others on the ship haven’t been and are therefore safe. But if Regina and the others just went crazy and weren’t time-traveling, I’m not sure why everyone else onboard isn’t experiencing the same thing. Or maybe some people just take longer to be affected. This also sounds like it could be “the sickness” of which Rousseau spoke, doesn’t it?
LIES LIES LIES YEAH
Can we even trust Captain Gault’s guess as to why people are going psycho in the first place? He may know much more about what’s happening then he’s letting on. Let’s not forget that Sayid and Desmond received a note (which we can now assume was from “Kevin Johnson” (aka Michael)) that read, “Don’t trust the captain.” On top of that, everyone else on the ship seems intimidated or straight-up afraid of this guy. I can see why—he definitely has a James Bond (Daniel Craig version) vibe about him. I was digging the captain. On a related note, the general consensus is that if we are meant to read anything into the captain’s last name, then we should assume he was purposefully given the same name as the “morally ambiguous captain-for-hire” in William Hope Hodgson’s collection of seafaring stories which were published in 1917. This is one of those times when I personally don’t think a character’s name means anything, though. And for those of you who will argue that the captain is named after John Galt from my favorite book of all time, Atlas Shrugged, I say: Silence! There’s no way. Not buying it. Sorry.
The captain claims to be working for Charles Widmore, which corroborates what Ben told Locke in the previous episode. The split-second frame of Desmond’s face when he heard the name “Widmore” during that scene was hilarious.
Polaroid picture of Penny: $2
Crappy blue shirt with no buttons = $40
Bottle of MacCutcheon’s whiskey: $20,000
A capture of your facial expression when learning the freighter is Daddy Widmore’s: Priceless
(Yes, I know Des wouldn't be using USD--but work with me, OK?)
The captain then goes on to show Des and Sayid what he says is Flight 815’s black box, and then repeats what Naomi told Charlie: the plane was found at the bottom of the ocean with all 324 bodies aboard. Naturally, he believes the only person who could pull off a stunt like that is… Benjamin Linus.
And that was the last we saw of the captain in this episode.
So what to make of all of this? I personally do not believe that Ben is behind the faux 815 wreckage. Yes, we now know that Ben has access to a ton of money, and to a network of people off of the Island who carry out orders for him. And yes, he does want to protect the Island at all costs, and supplying the media with a fake crash site might dissuade a few explorers from looking any further. But it wouldn’t keep a group who already knew about the existence of the Island from continuing to look for it. Plus, the only dead bodies we’ve seen near Ben were the skeletons in the Skeleton Pit from the Dharma purge. They didn’t exactly look like the drowned crash victims we saw in the news video at the beginning of the season. Further, we saw the moment when the plane crashed from the Othersville point-of-view. Ben seemed more concerned with getting Ethan and Goodwin to the crash sites and getting Patchy working on files for the survivors than rounding up 324 replacement bodies. I’m not absolutely ruling out Ben being behind the fake Oceanic flight, but I just find it hard to believe that Sayid would agree to work for Ben in the future if he thought for one second that Ben staged the 815 wreckage. Ben would have to have a really, really good explanation for doing that (and I’m not saying that explanation might not be forthcoming, which is why I leave open the possibility that the captain may have been telling the truth).
All that being said, for now I think that someone else set up the phony 815 remains. The captain probably believes that Ben is behind it, though, so it’s not like he’s purposefully lying—he probably never thought to second-guess whatever Widmore told him. And for all we know, maybe Widmore also honestly believes that Ben masterminded the bogus crash. I say this because I don’t think Widmore is behind the recovered wreckage, either. I have a sneaking suspicion that there is a third party involved in the battle for the Island, and that this organization is playing Ben and Widmore against each other while advancing its own agenda in the process.
Who might this third party be? I come back to Abaddon… While I think Widmore and Abaddon obviously are connected because the helicopter team couldn’t have launched their mission from Widmore’s freighter without Widmore knowing about it, I’m not convinced that Abaddon works for Widmore. I think Abaddon works for someone else—and I think that person is “the economist” who also employed Elsa (if the captain's first name begins with an "R," then it could be him, but I doubt it). This mystery person and his organization could be fooling Widmore into lending them money and resources to help them get what they want. Yes, Widmore knows about the Island and probably wants to find it for his own reasons, but I think there’s another group with a more sinister agenda that is playing Widmore like a puppet. Ben may or may not know about this other group… but if he does know about them, he didn’t tell Locke!
One last idea I had on this subject... what if everyone other than the Lostaways (and perhaps Desmond, Juliet and Penny) is "bad," and the Lostaways were literally brought to the Island BY the Island to help protect it? Remember Locke's words from Season One: "Every single one of us was brought here for a reason." It may not seem possible, now that we know that Sayid is at one point working for Ben in the future, and that not all of the O6 want to return, but I think it would be kind of cool if in the very end, the Flight 815 survivors each played their own role in ridding the Island of everyone that shouldn't be there and then they leave it in peace. I haven't thought this through, so there is no need to point out the ten million things wrong with this theory... I just think it would be interesting if it ended up being The Lostaways Trying to Save the Island vs. Everyone Else Trying to Exploit It.
I SEEM TO RECOGNIZE YOUR FACE
HAUNTING, FAMILIAR, YET... I CAN'T SEEM TO PLACE IT
The last freighter scene of the night was the one many of us have been anticipating for months, ever since it was made known at Comic-Con that Michael would be returning to the series. Bravo to those of you who managed to avoid the ultra-high level of spoilers about this subject—that is something to be proud of. I wish I had been surprised.
When Doc Ray introduced Michael to Sayid and Desmond as “Kevin Johnson,” there was a millisecond of tension as we all wondered whether either of them would blow Michael’s cover. I had no doubt that Sayid would be able to pull off the charade, but I wasn’t sure that Desmond would. Then I got to wondering, “Has Desmond ever even met Michael?” I can’t remember that far back. I’m sure they met on the Island, if only briefly. We know that Desmond surely heard Michael yelling “WAAAALLLLLLTTTT!” at one point or another at the very least. Even Jacob was like, “Will someone just reunite this guy and his son already? He’s giving me a headache!”
I don’t feel like it makes much sense to speculate about what’s going on with Michael, since it looks like we’ll be getting information in the next episode regarding what he’s been up to. I will admit to being very curious about the whereabouts of Walt. Speaking of Walt, I should probably mention a few ideas I’ve seen on the message boards:
- Some people think that Kevin Johnson is not Michael, but rather the actor who played Michael now playing a grown-up Walt. If that ends up being the case, even I may have to stop watching the show.
- It has been mentioned that perhaps the banging on the pipes that Sayid heard was Michael trying to communicate via Morse code—either to Sayid, or somehow to Ben. That’s definitely a possibility, but I think it was just some other crazy person aboard the ship who was banging his or her head against a pipe or something like that. There weren’t any breaks in the banging. And remember, that scene took place before we learned that several crew members had gone berserk. Sayid was convinced that someone was making the sound on purpose… it might have been just a small thing that was put in the episode to give Sayid another reason to believe the captain when he later claimed that Regina had gone insane and that others had, too.
- I’m going to cover the subject of the Oceanic Six later, but since I have seen a lot of people argue that Michael MUST be one of the O6 because we have now seen him again, I feel it’s appropriate to mention here that that argument doesn’t really make sense. Just because we’ve now seen Michael off of the Island and on the freighter does not mean he is one of the Oceanic Six. Until we see him in his own future-flash, there is no evidence that he makes it any further than the freighter. Having said that, I don’t doubt that other Lostaways make it back to the mainland but aren’t touted as part of the O6 and live life on the down-low after returning. So that could also be Michael's fate.
BABY DID A BAD BAD THING
On the Island, Sun grows more and more convinced that the helicopter peeps are either up to no good (Charlotte), or totally clueless (Daniel). I think her conversation with Daniel was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time. I was dying when she said she was pregnant and he was all awkward and responded, “Oh, you’re… wow, that’s… Congratulations!” I was sad that there wasn’t more Daniel in this episode.
After realizing that Nerd Boy is powerless, Sun decides to take matters into her own hands and orders Jin to gather up food for the journey over to Locke’s camp. While Kate cooperated and drew Sun a map, Juliet figures out Sun’s plan and tries to stop her and Jin from taking off. Sun wouldn’t listen, which led Juliet to utter the line that had viewers across the nation yelling, “OH NO SHE DIDN’T!” simultaneously: “Jin, your wife had an affair.”
I was really shocked that Juliet played that card—I didn’t see that one coming. But I should have, because back in my own write-up for “D.O.C.”, I declared it a "dumb, dumb move" when Sun told Juliet about Baldy. At least Sun got to smack Juliet afterward, right?
In all seriousness, I would’ve done the same thing if I were Juliet. While I don’t blame Sun for not trusting Juliet’s claims about pregnant women dying, we viewers know that the danger Juliet described is very real. From the viewer’s perspective (not Sun’s), nothing Juliet has done has proven her to be an eeeevil person at her core, so she acted out of desperation to save the lives of Sun and her unborn baby by saying the only thing that she knew would get Jin (at the very least) to stay put.
I THOUGHT I TOLD YA, HEY...
WHAT GOES AROUND COMES BACK AROUND
Awkwardness is in the air after Jin storms off and then Sun tries to explain her side of the story while Bernard is standing between them like a doofus wanting to go fishing. Jin chooses to bust out with Bernard, which leads to a short but nonetheless important conversation about karma (I'm not going to attempt to explain the real meaning of karma, let's just stick with the simplified definition, because that's how Bernard meant it... simply put, "you reap what you sow"). Bernard essentially says that Rose would now rather risk her life (because of the possibility of her cancer returning) by leaving the Island than stay with Locke, who they believe to be a murderer. He hints that bad things will befall Locke and the group that stayed with him because when “you make bad choices, bad things happen to you.” While we know that something unsavory is going to go down at the barracks for those who sided with Locke, we also know that some of the Lostaways who left the Island will grow desperate to return, and that their desperation seems to stem from guilt. So I believe that while Bernard’s cautionary words about “bad choices” are definitely foreshadowing something, I’m not so sure they’re going to end up applying only to Locke, if they end up applying to him at all.
PLEASE FORGIVE ME, I KNOW NOT WHAT I DO
After the Boys Only Fishing Trip, Jin quickly forgives Sun (and admits that he hadn’t exactly been Spouse of the Year, either), and only asks for assurance that the baby is his. Sun confirms that it is, and then tells him that they do in fact need to stay with Jack’s group in hopes of getting off the Island. Even Juliet and Sun make up. Love-fest on the beach!
And now, onto the flashes…
AND THE CRADLE WILL ROCK
When it comes right down to it, there are only a few major issues that arose from Sun’s flash-forwards. There’s pretty much nothing at all to discuss from Jin’s flashbacks; they didn’t really provide us with any new information on his character. Though I did laugh out loud when the subtitles showed him yelling “I will kill you!” after that other dude swiped his taxi.
I (along with most people I’ve talked to) was pretty faked out about what was going on with both characters’ flashes until the very end. I did think that Jin was trying to get to the hospital to be with Sun. And while I had been doubting that Jin was one of the Oceanic Six (because he wasn’t being recognized by anyone), I still assumed his scenes were taking place in the future, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post. Even when he first showed up at the room of the Ambassador’s daughter, I was like, “That ass! He’s back to his old ways—putting work before family! He went to work for her dad again?!?! This is a bunch of crap!” Not until he commented that he had only been married for two months did it dawn on me that it was a flashback… and that was pretty much the last second of Jin’s scenes.
With Sun’s flash-forwards, I was also misled. I suspected that something freaky was going on with the baby. First off, Sun went into labor after watching Dead Nikki’s awful TV show, “Exposé,” which couldn’t have been a good sign. Then she said, “Something is wrong” when she called emergency services. Her normal doctor was replaced by some other guy in the delivery room, and this new doctor declared that the baby was “in distress.” I was positive that Dharma/ Widmore/ Hanso/ Jacob/ Smokey/ Abaddon was overseeing the delivery and was going to steal the baby. That, or the baby was going to have horns or be green with purple polka-dots or something (you may recall that these were my fears about Aaron, too).
But none of that happened. Ji Yeon came into the world, and all was well. Except that I was cursing Jin for not getting there in time.
YOU’RE GONE… GONE…
HOW IN THE WORLD WILL I GO ON?
No one believes me, but as Miss M and RK can attest to, I did NOT cry during the final scene when Hurley, Sun and Ji Yeon visited the cemetery. I think it was because I was so certain that there would be some strange twist. I kept thinking, “OK, this is the episode that the producers wanted to end with before the show goes on hiatus because they said it had a mini-cliffhanger.” So I kept waiting for the cliffhanger. And it didn’t come. In retrospect, I feel that the cliffhanger was Michael’s reappearance. Sometimes it’s hard for those of us who are really obsessed with the show to remember that the vast majority of the millions of people who tune in every week do NOT read the message boards or show-related sites, and so they probably either didn’t know or forgot that Michael was coming back.
Or, the fact that Jin’s tombstone listed his date of death as 9/22/2004, the date of the Flight 815 crash, might also be considered a cliffhanger. It certainly is the cause of the biggest debate I’ve seen on the boards in a looong time: Is Jin dead, or not?
But before I attempt to break down the arguments for or against Jin’s death, let’s pause to consider a few other strange things from this final flash-forward scene. First off, Hurley flew all the way to Korea to join Sun and her daughter for this most personal of moments (those golden tickets come in handy). More importantly, he was glad that none of the other Six made the trip:
SUN: I can't believe you came all this way.
HURLEY: Are you kidding? Is anyone else coming?
What is up with that? We know Kate has Aaron, so I guess she had a good excuse for not flying halfway around the world. But what about Jack? It seems out of character for him not to rise to the occasion, especially if all we’ve seen so far points to him still being gung-ho about leaving the Island early on. Most people think that Kate’s trial was near the end of 2006, much later than Ji Yeon’s birth (mid-2005). At Kate’s trial, Jack was still spouting off the Oceanic Six story with such conviction that Kate thought he was starting to believe it. And at what was most likely a much earlier point in time, Jack told Hurley that they would never “go back.” Perhaps Ji Yeon’s birth came shortly after the squabble that Hurley and Jack got into at the mental institution while playing basketball, so Jack didn't want to see Hurley again so soon after. But then again—would Hurley have been able to leave the mental institution to fly to Korea?
Since Hurley’s flash-forwards are hard to place in the overall timeline, suffice it to say that for one reason or another, Hurley was glad that he and Sun weren’t going to be joined by Jack, Kate or Sayid. It may mean that he holds all of them somewhat responsible for whatever ends up happening to the rest of the Lostaways, or it may mean that it would be too hard for him to face the rest of them and “keep up appearances” for the media while in a bigger group, or it may simply mean that Sun is the only one of The Six that he likes. But believe you me, his words definitely mean something.
The other thing I’d like to touch upon before getting into the “Jin: Still Alive or Definitely Dead?” debate is that I feel more affected by this final scene now that I’m thinking about it again three days later (I’m currently on a flight back to colder temperatures—boo!). Regardless of what fate has befallen Jin, Hurley and Sun are mourning him at the grave site. We don’t know if they’re mourning his death, or that they don’t think they’ll ever see him again, or the fact that he can’t be there with them but is otherwise alive and well on the Island, but make no mistake—they are mourning. I think that unfortunately for a subset of us hardcore fans of the show (cough, cough), we are usually so busy trying to figure out the next twist or searching for the next clue that some of the more poignant scenes lose their impact. I am ashamed to say that I’m programmed well enough to have known that they were going to show a close-up of Jin’s grave, and that whatever date was on it would be a huge clue. I muttered, “Someone’s got a screenshot translated already, I’m sure of it,” just moments after the credits rolled (we couldn’t catch what was on the tombstone on our hotel room’s TV, and we didn’t have Tivo, either!). Never for a second did I even pause to consider the fact that Jin may very well be dead, which would make me very depressed indeed. It wasn’t until my husband emailed me, “Done crying yet?” that I realized I had cheated myself out of a scene that should have packed a significant emotional punch. When I get home I’ll watch it again, properly this time.
DEAD OR ALIVE
Let me say this upfront: I don’t have an "official" opinion just yet as to what I think happened to Jin, although I certainly hope he is not dead. Therefore, I am leaning toward that camp right now. Below, I am simply reporting arguments I’ve seen on the message boards for the two different scenarios.
1) Jin is still alive, and is still on the Island.
I’ll admit that when I read that the tombstone listed 9/22/2004 for Jin’s death, I immediately thought, “Oh, good, that means he’s not dead.” I have since realized that this was a faulty conclusion to jump to, as I’ll explain in a second. But for those who believe Jin is still alive, the date on his grave is the first bit of evidence. This is because we obviously all know that Jin didn’t die on that day. Other supporting evidence includes:
- Sun called out for Jin in the heat of the moment during her labor, and wouldn’t have done so if he were really dead. The people who cite this as proof of Jin's well-being most likely also believe that Jack’s dad may somehow be alive in the future, and that’s why Jack referenced his father twice in “Through the Looking Glass.”
- If Jin is dead, that doesn’t leave very many people for the Oceanic Six to feel like they had to go back to the Island to for, now does it? To put it bluntly, we can’t expect Jack or Hurley to end up feeling guilty about leaving Sawyer or Locke in Othersville. Sure, there’s still Rose, Bernard, Juliet, Claire and those kids they never show anymore, but all in all it’s not like there are a ton of Lostaways who would be left on the Island that The Six would feel responsible for or emotionally connected to. Especially since many assume something bad must happen to Claire in order for Kate to end up with Aaron. Yeah, maybe Jack would want to go back for Juliet--but then why wasn't he acting that way in Kate and Hurley's flash-forwards? And maybe Juliet gets off the Island--she wasn't on the flight so wouldn't be counted as one of the O6 anyway. But back to the original point... If Jin is dead, that would give the O6 even less of a reason to want to make it back to the Island. Remember that Dead Charlie told Hurley that “They need you… you KNOW they need you!” and Abaddon asked Hurley, “Are they still alive?” It doesn’t seem likely that Dead Charlie or Abaddon were talking about all of the no-name extras.
- If there ends up being a “only one more spot left” scenario during the rescue (especially if it is by helicopter), Jin would force Sun to leave without him and could therefore still be alive and well on the Island.
- Nothing that Hurley or Sun said in the final scene could be interpreted to mean that Jin is definitely, definitely deceased. If The Powers That Be wanted to make it clear to viewers that he was dead, then one of the characters would’ve said something more explicit at the grave site, like, “Why did you have to die?” or “I hope you’re looking down on your daughter.” Instead, this ambiguous ending could be the “mini-cliffhanger” the producers referenced in the past. We’ll only get resolution when we see the events of the rest of Season Four unfold.
2) Sorry, suckas... Jin is dead.
The other side of the coin is that the producers could’ve thought viewers would understand that the “mini-cliffhanger” was meant to be: “Aww, crap--Jin is dead! How did he die?” rather than what ended up happening... everyone scratching their heads at the end of the episode and asking each other, “Wait a second--is Jin dead?” The end result is that we fans still need to wait to see how everything unfolds for Jin. But some feel that it is very clear that since Jin wasn’t with Sun in the future, and since Hurley and Sun felt that it was important to take Ji Yeon to Jin’s grave, that Jin is dead. The date on the tombstone is just a red herring… of course the date needed to be listed as the date of the 815 crash—we all know that that is part of the cover-up story that all of The Six have been adhering to (we just don’t know why). Even if Jin ends up dying during his and Sun’s escape from the Island, his date of date would have to be recorded as 9/22/2004. Other evidence for Jin being dead includes:
- Jin would not willingly be separated from Sun… remember: “Wherever Sun go, I go.” So he probably died before she escaped or died while they were both trying to leave. In order to protect her baby, she chose to continue on and leave the Island.
- Sun has unknowingly been foreshadowing his death, by using phrases like “my baby” rather than “our baby” in recent episodes.
- Sun calling out to Jin in the delivery room was nothing more than a momentary lapse of sanity amidst a scary, hormone-fueled labor. Similarly, Jack talking about his dad still being alive only occurred because The Mad Doctor was all drugged up.
- Jin has redeemed himself—he finally admitted that he was a crappy husband and apologized to Sun—and we all know what that means. Any time a character fully redeems him/herself on the Island, he/she seems to kick the bucket. Shannon, Ana Lucia, Charlie… some might even say Mr. Eko: they all had defining moments of self-awareness and then died shortly thereafter.
- There was no talk between Hurley and Sun about ever seeing Jin again, or trying to get back to the Island. Everything they said at the grave site could be interpreted to mean Jin is dead just as easily as it could be interpreted that he is still alive.
Finally, some have wondered if maybe Jin is one of the two people that Jack said initially survived but then ended up dying shortly after the crash. Unless Jack meant that those two people had only survived for a few hours after the plane went down (rather than days, which was how I interpreted his comments at Kate’s trial), I don’t think Jin could’ve been one of those two and still have the date of death on his gravestone be 9/22/2004.
The bigger question to me is, if we know that Sun got pregnant on the Island but the world at large was told that Jin died in the crash, did Sun tell the media that she was already pregnant on the flight? Did she want the doctors to think she was delivering a month early or something, and that's why she said "something is wrong" when she called emergency services, when in actuality she knew she was delivering on time? It was roughly a month after landing on the Island that Sun got pregnant, so "delivering a month early" could be a plausible cover story that she used.
Speaking of cover stories... something has been bugging me for a while now--ever since Naomi told Charlie that all of the passengers' bodies aboard Flight 815 had been found at the bottom of the ocean. What's bugging me is this: how exactly are they explaining the Oceanic Six then? Is the story something like, "We thought all 324 bodies were accounted for when we came across the wreckage, but there were these eight people who didn't die on impact and they somehow swam up and over to an island, and then two of them died"? I hope we get to see the press conference for the Oceanic Six.
And speaking of the O6...
WHO ARE THE OCEANIC SIX?
(Disclaimer: I have no "official" word on who the O6 are, this is just my opinion, so don't worry, I don't think you can consider what I say below to be a spoiler.)
Before “Eggtown” (Kate’s flash-forward), the previews said, “Another member of the Oceanic Six will be revealed." After the episode aired, a lot of people thought we were cheated out of learning a new O6 member, because everyone had already figured that Kate made the cut, since we had seen her meet with Future Jack in the Season Three finale.
Before “Ji Yeon,” the previews stated that we would learn “the rest of the Oceanic Six.” I therefore had assumed that two people would be revealed, because I had previously not thought Aaron was one of the O6 because it was not made explicitly clear in “Eggtown.”
Well guess what? I fell right into the trap that the producers had set, and I wasn't the only one. In retrospect, I think the previews for “Ji Yeon” were misleading on purpose. They said “the rest” so that everyone would continue to think, until the very end of the hour, that the flash scenes were in the future for both Sun and Jin. This is the same reason why I don’t think they ever made Aaron’s status crystal clear. When "Eggtown" aired, they already knew what lay ahead for the Lostaways in episode seven, so they wanted to leave the identities of the Oceanic Six a little vague until after “Ji Yeon” ran. Further, the producers put out what is known as “foilers”… meaning fake spoilers. They listed both Jin and Sun as members of the O6 and this spread like wildfire across spoiler sites (I found all of this out after the fact). This was to throw people off the scent and leave everyone truly surprised by the ending of “Ji Yeon.” As Bobby Brown might say, it’s their prerogative to do this sort of thing, and I have to kind of laugh at people who are mad that the spoilers they read didn’t pan out. Why do people even want to watch the show if they already know every major thing that’s going to happen? Why waste an hour of your life each Thursday night?
Taking all of the above into account, I’m pretty sure that the Oceanic Six are: Kate, Aaron, Sun, Jack, Hurley and Sayid. For every argument there is as to why Aaron “shouldn’t count,” there’s an equally valid argument to make for why he should. Even the producers listed both sides of the argument about Aaron in their podcast for “Eggtown.” They have promised a definitive list of the O6 in the near future, and so I’m hoping that they’ll provide clarity in the podcast scheduled for 3/20. I’ll definitely include whatever they say in my next write-up, fear not.
OFFICIAL PODCAST DEBRIEF
Below are the highlights of the 3/9/08 audio podcast. Locke fans will be especially pleased with some of the things they cover--I know I was. As always, things the producers discuss in the podcasts can be considered slightly spoilerish, so if you don't want to know things that will or will not be covered in the rest of Season Four, then skip ahead to the next bold heading...
(This isn't a word-for-word transcript, but I definitely captured the gist of the comments)
Q. What is the purpose of The Tempest, other than to kill all the people on the Island?
A. Do you need another use other than that? What about the Arrow hatch? That was just built into the side of a mountain and had a glass eye in it. [e: That means the glass eye is going to come back into play soon, I'm sure of it!] The Tempest is an important station. It was on Kelvin’s map in the hatch. This was our attempt to get some more Island history in. At some point, the Dharma initiative was gassed, and we were wondering where that gas came from. The fact that the Dharma group was supposedly a bunch of hippies, but they had this huge station of chemical weaponry is kind of interesting and sets up for some story-telling later. That can be interpreted many ways… one of which is that not all of their missions were entirely peaceful. Another is that the Dharma group was aware that there were hostile forces on the Island and they needed to protect themselves.
Q. Is Charles Widmore really the person behind “Not Penny’s Boat?” Isn’t that Penny’s father? How can it not be her boat?
A. We got a big reveal here. We had Ben saying, “Widmore sent the boat, but I don’t know why he’s looking for the Island.” Do you think he’s lying about that? Perhaps. Will we find out whether or not Ben actually knows why Widmore is looking for the Island by the end of the season? Yes.
Q. Is this the last we’ve seen of Harper?
A. No. She’s still on the Island and she’s still an Other.
Hopefully by the end of “Ji Yeon” many of your questions about the Oceanic Six will be answered. [e: Uh.... wishful thinking.]
They had a round of very funny questions comparing Gilligan’s Island to Lost.
Q. In the Lost “Missing Pieces,” in the final one, “So It Begins,” Christian Shepard tells Vincent to go get Jack. We also see him sitting in a chair in Jacob’s cabin. Will we see more of him this season?
Q. Will we get to see Smokey again any time soon?
A. Yes. But we have a rule… every time we show the monster, we want to evolve its mythology and show you something else about its nature. So you may learn something else about it.
Q. Locke used to be my favorite character. But now his actions make him tougher and tougher to defend. Will we see that his antics are justified? [e: No, this question was not sent in by me. But they apparently thought it was sent in by Terry O'Quinn, because he has been asking them this same question.]
A. Locke is a man who is on a journey. And his journey, like many Biblical characters, is one that has many periods of doubting and uncertainty and frustration… and the occasional Emmy win. Terry O'Quinn has asked us many of these same questions. I think it would be less interesting to see only the “Season One Locke” for the entire series. It’s more interesting to see the other sides of his character and him struggling to figure out what his purpose is. I think you will see a more invigorated and re-energized Locke by the end of the season. In order to truly have faith, you need to have doubt at some point. [e gets down on knees and praises the Heavens.]
I'VE BEEN LOOKING SO LONG AT THESE PICTURES OF YOU
THAT I ALMOST BELIEVE THAT THEY'RE REAL
Shout-out to JB, who told me about Dead Charlie's real-life photography exhibit... read an article about it here.
ALL I'VE GOT IS A PHOTOGRAPH
Shout-out to EA, who had her picture taken with Karl (Blake Bashoff in real life) recently. He is currently in a play on Broadway. I hope Alex doesn't come find EA and beat her down! Alas, he spilled no Island secrets.
And with that, I am off to enjoy Xanadu on Broadway (I'll look for Karl myself in case he's roaming around the area). I'm positive that Xanadu will hold Lost-related clues.
Until next time,