Lost – ‘Ji Yeon’ – 4.7

corridor.jpg

Can you believe we are one episode away from the break – and only six away from season’s end? Where’d the time go?

Well, if I had some minor criticisms last week with the narrative flow, this week all was restored – even if I did feel that the writers employed a narrative cheat in telling the tale of Ji Yeon. More on that below. That said, I thought this was a great episode, that hit many bases and brought us equal doses of heart and mystery.

On with the show.

1.   Ji Yeon is the name that Jin has chosen for this new baby girl. Of course, her mere existence brings back a whole host of questions – all of which have been hidden from Jin to date. As his command of English blossoms and Sun’s actions become more desperate, the two elements conspire to reveal these secrets to Jin. So it’s through this episode, and Juliet’s slap-worthy revelations, that Jin learns that Sun cheated on him, that her baby is indeed his and that women on this island don’t live beyond their 2nd trimester.

panda.jpg

2.   As we have seen in past episodes, Jin and Sun’s island sojourn have done wonders to repair their marriage. Jin has found escape from his hard life as hired gun to Mr. Paik, Sun’s gangster father. That was the big tell in the flashbacks/flashforwards. Seeing Jin race around the streets of Korea in desperate search for a big ass panda immediately instilled doubt in my mind. We know Sun wanted to raise her daughter in Seoul but Jin is looking for a fresh start and a break from her Dad’s controlling influence. Hence his desire to relocate to Albuquerque. Anywhere but Korea. So seeing him back home made me think that his tale was a flashback. Yet, we knew from Sun’s condition, that she was inhabiting a flash forward.

3.   And that’s the nagging narrative trick that slightly irked me. It made sense to see Sun’s flashforward as it jibes with the way the rest of this season has played out – seeing who made it off the island and how their lives had degraded (although Sun seems a little better off despite the final, fateful shot of the night). But I’m not clear why we got Jin’s flashback. It really didn’t serve up new information and really just served to keep the viewer off the trail of “Where is Jin?” By interspersing his odyssey among Sun’s delivery scenes, we were kept from wondering too loudly, but it sort of feels like a cheat to save the final shocker a secret until the final moments. Again, not an episode killer but not a device we’ve seen the writers employ on this series. They’re usually more clever than that. (BTW They did plant a little clue in Jin’s scenes to clue us in to the flashback. When he returns to the toy store to buy a 2nd panda, the proprietor offers him a Dragon. “It’s the Year of the Dragon. Very popular.” The last Year of the Dragon was in 2000. The next isn’t until 2012.)

tombstone.jpg

4.   With all that said, Jin’s not dead. Not by a long shot. Just look at that headstone. Accoridng to it – his date of death is 9/22/04 – the very day Flight 815 crashed in the South Pacific. My take on this is Jin and Sun were separated – only she could leave and he is still back on the island – hence he is one of the 334 ‘confirmed dead’ passengers. Sun, like the rest of the Oceanic 6, has to live a lie – so she visits Jin’s grave to communicate with him – to keep that connection. She knows he’s out there and it saddens her to no end that he could not be present for the birth of their child. In fact, she may think she’ll never see him again so for all intents, he really is dead to her. But mark my words, he’s still out there.

kevinjohnson.jpg

5.   Meet Kevin Johnson. So now we know who the mole on the ship is and it’s none other than our old friend – Kevin Johnson, errrr, Michael. Of course, that opens a whole host of questions. Where’s Walt? Why is Michael on this ship? And if Michael merely left 30 days or so ago (remember – it’s only Dec. 2004 in Lost’s chronology) how did Michael sail away, get Walt safe, get a new identity and infiltrate Charles Widemore’s organization in order to board his Freaky Freighter?

6.   So here comes my outlandish theory. Those coordinates that Ben gave Michael? What if they never led to home but led to someplace else on the island or somewhere else in time. If the time travel theories are correct – then Ben could have gotten to Michael, grabbed Walt or made sure he was safe, and pressed Michael back into service on his behalf. Maybe he showed him the big picture and let him know how things would unfold – providing Michael with compelling evidence to help out. And then he sent him back through time, far enough back that he could join up with the Widemore warriors and put him in the exact position that Ben would need him in at this future (present) date?

7.   The moment I wrote that, another crazy theory popped in my head. What if (and this is a huge What If?) Ben offered to rewrite history for Walt? To make it so neither one of them ever had to step foot on Oceanic Flight 815 from Sydney to LA? All Michael would have to do is take a little trip back into time (his conscience) change his past self’s actions and then payback Ben for this ability to rewrite time and save Walt from ever experiencing the abduction and whatever experimentation came along with it. As crazy as that sounds, I can’t think of any other way that Michael could get home, get Walt safely looked after and then infiltrate a secret organization and board their freighter as hired help when the person running that clandestine operation knows the identities of everyone on board Flight 815 in the first place – at least he would have to as we all know it is Charles Widemore who planted that wreckage in the South Pacific and therefore he would have to have placed bodies to account for Michael and Walt. But if Michael and Walt were never on board Flight 815, then the problem is solved. Although, now we’re opening paradoxes and those always get messy.

captain.jpg

8.   Besides, as Michael warned Desmond and Sayid, the Captain is not to be trusted.

blackbox1.jpg

9.   Sure, the Captain spins a nice yarn and does what the best liars do – he sprinkles in enough truth to make it all seem plausible – or at least to inject enough plausible deniability should he ever be called upon it. As he produces that black box from the sprinkled remains of the faux Flight 815 and drops word to Desmond that his freighter and mission is bankrolled by Penny’s papi, there’s enough there to make these guys believe that the Captain is on the up and up. Of course, we’ve got this tale being told to our resident Iraqi interrogator and torturer and we know that Sayid never takes things on face value – certainly not after being warned up front not to trust a damned word the Captain says. Plus, there was Frank’s final words to Sayid’s statement that he wants to speak with the captain. As Frank so ominously put it – “No you don’t.”

10.   Now, the big question is, where is Frank and what is this secret mission he was tasked with? All I know is, he certainly didn’t seem happy about it. I have a feeling Frank (along with Faraday and Charlotte) will end up helping our heroes in the long run.

chains.jpg

11.   The other big question (and one I have an answer for) is what’s going on with the freighter folk. First Minkowski (the radio operator) starts tripping through time and contracts a fatal aneurysm for his troubles. Then in this episode, we find someone has painted Sayid’s new bedroom walls with Brain Matter Burgundy (I think Glidden makes it) which, of course, leads to our introduction to Kevin Johnson. And, finally, Regina is first spotted by Frank reading a book upside down before finally adorning herself in chain mail and taking the Nestea plunge. So what’s up with the crew? I think we’re witnessing the same sickness that Danielle (the Frenchwoman’s) research crew came down with in her report. As you’ll recall, Danielle ended up killing all of the members of her party due to some madness that they contracted. She, of course, did not contract the same malady meaning some people may have a natural immunity to whatever drives some people nuts and sends others through time. Anyway, it’s obvious something is driving them crazy on that ship and it can’t be just the Lima Beans. Although, that would certainly do me in.

12.   Last thing – so now we have our final Oceanic 6. Jack. Kate. Sayid. Hurley. Sun. Aaron. One last thing on that – anyone find it curious that Hurley was the only one to visit Sun and she replied that nobody else was coming, he replied “Good!” Just being goofy Hurley or is he starting to drift away from the others?

That’s all for now.

11111/2

Comments now closed (14)

  • Thank you, Ed!! I realize that the surgery, pain, and, hopefully, painKILLERS, have all contributed to your wild theories, which are likely to be exactly what is going on. I often wonder what the writers of the series would think if they ever tripped into your analysis. I would imagine they might think that they have to make it HARDER!

    First, props to me for picking Sun waaaay back at the start. I also picked Juliet, but I get credit for Sun.And nobody saw Aaron coming. I was thoroughly lost on the backstory of one and the flashforward for the other, until Jin said he had only been married for 2 months.I had always assumed that Sun made it off because she was pregnant, but Jin didn’t…then it appeared that he had…except that he’s dead… They don’t really have to work that hard to screw with some of us…

    I think Frank will have to be the one who helps the Oceanic 6, since he’s the pilot, and plus I think he’s a go-along-to-get-along kind of a guy who is starting to pick up on more information that he thought he had, therefore becoming a little conflicted himself. He may have come under one premise, and now finds himself under an entirely different one.

    And can one of you place the date for the baby’s birth? Is it before or after Hurley has cracked up? Or Jack?

    And I hope you are feeling betta!!

  • Here’s where I think the Chonology lies for the Oceanic 6 Flashforwards:

    1. Sun (can only be a few months after rescue as she is just now giving birth – therefore I think Hurley’s appearance is pre-crack up)

    2. Kate (Jack shows up and is as well-adjusted as can be. I don’t think he is suffering from any strain yet).

    3. Hurley (The strain is obviously getting to him and Jack shows up looking a bit weary – moreso than in Kate’s flashforward. He also says, “I’m thinking of growing a beard.”

    I think those 3 all happen within a year of rescue. I think the last two happen later (2-3 years).

    4. Sayid (We know that he has eliminated several men for Ben and he spends a large amount of time in Berln waiting for his next mark)

    5. Jack (I think his is last. Not only has he become suicidal and an Oxycontin-freak, but he tells Kate that he uses the Oceanic Golden Ticket to fly around the Pacific praying that his plane will crash and he will find the island again. In order for his psyche to get this brittle, this has to be quite a ways down the timelines so his is definitely last.

    BTW I just read that the producers have 3 arcs laid out for the remaining seasons – this one, the ’09 one and the finale in ’10. This season is about how they get off the island. Next season is about what happens when they’re gone. The final season is about the return.

  • @ Aunt Sharon – Incidentally, these posts usually take me 30 – 45 minutes to cobble together. This marks the first that took me almost 2 days. I guess going under the kinfe will do that to ya’.

  • Well, if that’s the case…how come they aren’t up on Thursday night…about 11 when I check in for the last time…or do you watch Eli Stone? And do you take notes or something?? Uncle Ron insists on absolute quiet, while Jessi and I are madly pointing stuff out to each other! Hey, maybe if you come to Jason’s wedding, we can go down to the Pacific and stare out to sea!! Looking for answers and all!!

    I’ve sent a couple of Lostfans to your site, and at least 2 of them have told me that they have come to depend on the Ed Zone for clarity!! So, lead on, McDuff, I’m buying whatever you are selling!!

  • I have to wait for those screen caps to become available (the site I get them from has them on Friday a.m.) And then I write my post during a little lunch break.

  • Ed, I thought your surgery date was 3/17? I was wondering why the post was a little late.

    I didn’t realize until you wrote it that Aaron is one of the six. I find that a little strange as while he was a passenger he was in utero. Which leads me to a bunch of questions of who Kate becomes his “mom”. If Sun gets off the Island and is one of six she as well as the other 5 would need to get off within weeks of where the story is now. So when they get back people cannot think that baby is Kate’s as there was not enough time for her get pregant while there were. Unless when they get off, a lot more time has passed off the island than on the island. Maybe that is it.

    Overall I liked the episode, and thought it was strange that they a flashback for Jin and a flashforward for Sun. I also thought it was strange that only Hurley went to see Sun. I guess I could see Jack not going as if Jin was dead or still stuck on the island he would be feeling the same kind of guilt he felt in not wanted to see Aaron. He feels responsible for everyone on the island. As he told Ben I am going to get everyone of my people off the island. I think the fact that he was only able to get six really affects him as we see in his flashforwards. But I thought Kate would go. Her and Sun seem tight. Sayid if flying around killing people so I can see why he wouldn’t go.

    The where has Michael been questions are many. It will be interesting to see what Syaid gets out of him next week. Also, to see who dies. At this point I don’t think I even have a guess.

    The last question is who was in the casket? It appears that it was not one of the six. It had to been somebody else.

    Hope you are feeling better and that the surgery gives you the relief you are looking for.

  • @Chris – I screwed up on the date. It was always a Friday but I wrote March 17th when I first posted about it. Anyway, I’m 2 days removed now (so – yeah – defnitely some pain) but we’ll see what happens when the recovery portion ends. All I know is I have the next week off from work so I’m sure I’ll be posting here frequently.

  • @Chris – Maybe Kate is his adopted Mom. If you remember, during Jack’s testimony he says 8 survived and 2 died on the island. Maybe the cover story is that Claire survived, gave birth and then Kate ‘adopted’ him.

    As for who is in the casket, perhaps, Juliet. Or Michael. Especially if he now has a new identity. I don’t know, this one is waaaaayyyyyyy up for grabs.

    You nailed it for why Jack and Sayid would not go see Sun. And I guess we now know why Kate can’t (she can’t leave California due to the provisions of her parole.)

  • Is there any way you can get a picture of the obituary from last season? Something is clicking in my aged brain that there was a capital ” K” in the name….

  • Ed, while you will posting all week Melissa and I will be in Vegas. We leave tonight and come home late Friday. So I will need the weekend to catch up on the last episode.

    I was just thinking about who was in the casket. Maybe Faraday or Charlotte or someone else from the “rescue”. I agree that one is up in the air. Could be a lot of people.

    While I don’t think Kate’s trial would have happened before Sun had the baby, I would assume she would be under arrest in some way shape for form when they get back and wouldn’t be allowed to travel to Japan. The question is why in LA. She killed her step father at home (Indiana?), why have the trial in LA? Also, Aaron was at least 2 when when we see him. So Ji Yeon would have long since been born. Plus she was out of jail until the trial started, as they deemed her a flight risk at the beginning of the trial. But she must have been out for awhile leading up to the trial. She has a house and nanny, etc… The more I think about that flashforward the more questions I have about what it was like when she got off the island. Lastly on this if she was wanted murder why would they let her adopt Aaron?

    I will have to list these on “mysteries & Questions list we build during the hiatus.

  • i know I am late with all this, but after reading aunt Sharon’s last post…and then reading your post from last season’s finale about the letter J. Maybe it is Michael in the coffin, or Kevin Johnson?

    Has everyone else already talked about this? I have not paid attention this week.

    I would also like to throw out there that I think this show is aptly named. I am completely lost after every show until I read this blog.

  • Stacy,

    I think people are starting to think it could be Michael and it makes sense for nobody to go to the funeral giving what we know about his actions.

    Glad to hear you find some clarity here on the site although to be honest – we all know I’m just making this stuff up as I go.

    -Ed

  • Since I talked to Ed the night of this episode, I didn’t have a lot to add to the discussion. I was pretty mad about the Jin storyline taking place in the past, even if it was clever enough to make you think he was in the present/future and trying to get to Sun. I guess his panda/cab rage should have shown he wasn’t the more mello Jin we now know. That and the fact that no one recognized him as a member of the Oceanic Six. As for whether he is truly dead, I believe he is dead. I think he’ll die getting Sun off the island, but there’s obviously the possibility he is left behind.

    Oh… as for them being in Korea, it was Sun’s wish to have the baby there and Jin wanted it in America. So, without Jin, she went back to Korea and obviously it worked out that she could name their daughter Ji Yeon.

    I guess Aaron does turn out to be the fifth member since Sun was revealed as the final one. Believe the story was Claire survived crash as part of the Eight, but died in child birth. Jin was probably tagged as the last in that group (so as to conceive with Sun). Interesting that the government would allow a person accused of murder to adopt Aaron, but Jack and the others might have had something to do with getting that pushed thru (or Widemore). Whether it was pre or post trial that Sun gave birth, Kate wouldn’t be allowed outside the U.S. as all she does is run. She’s the biggest flight risk going! That explains her visitation absence, but no thoughts on Jack yet. I’ll go along with the idea he feels guilty about Jin for now.

    As for discussions around Michael, I’ll leave those for this next post about “Meet Kevin Johnson.”